The We - Me Debate

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Politically speaking, according to the polls, Pres. Bush should drop pushing privatizing of Social Security. The more he pushes it, the worse his and the GOP congress' polls become. ABC News has two polls, one reported on the 8th and another on the 25th of April, showing the GOP may be in trouble in 2006 on domestic policy. Even Alan Greenspan, the Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve has recommended saving Social Security in order to save the economy in the future.

There is no question that the President's rhetoric about "an ownership society" has a nice ring to it. But, if you combine the recent Bankruptcy Reform which denies unfortunate but honest Americans a clean slate second chance to build a financial future, with the increase in senior citizen poverty that would result from privatizing any or all of Social Security, both from reduced benefits as well as bankrupting the SS system decades earlier than if we did nothing, a prescription for economic disaster is written. And this is what Alan Greenspan is warning politicians about.

With almost 8 trillion dollars national debt, and the additional 5 or so trillion that privatizing Social Security would add to the debt, plus another 1.5 to 2 trillion in deficits added over the rest of this decade, we taxpayers and our children, face large tax increases in the future in order to deal with the negative consequences of a 15 Trillion dollar national debt which would be on in the middle of the road blocking future growth. Republicans love to argue that taxes impair economic growth. Why is it then, that these same Republicans in full control of our nation's economic apparatus, are guaranteeing horrendous tax increases after President Bush leaves office in order to deal with his and Congress' legacy of red ink?

Americans are waking up to the reality that the GOP is no more disciplined or responsible with the public's money than Democrats were. And that is what is behind the falling poll numbers for Congress and the President. This could spell a sea change in future elections. As taxes begin increasing in the future, regardless of which party is in office, voters will have to ask if they got more from their tax dollar under the Democrats than they will have under the Republicans. With Republicans wanting to cut SS benefits, Bush's threat of veto over the transportation Bill resulting in American roads and bridges falling into even further dangerous ill-repair, loss of class action public suits against corporations under the GOP tort reform, ever more MTBE polluted water, incredibly fast rising health care costs and insurance premiums, it will be far more difficult in the future for voters to justify a GOP vote.

It is not that voters will trust Democrats any more than Republicans. But, in the future, for all their tax increases brought on by this Republican government's deficit spending, voters may fondly reminisce about safety nets, good roads, adequate government watchdogs regulating clean water, ethical lending practices and affordable health care under the Democrats. Both parties are big spenders. Both parties have proved that. The question of the future is which party gives the voters more bang for their buck?

The debate today on social security and a host of other issues is the we -me debate. On the "we" side of the debate are those who want to see American policy insure the greatest good for the greatest number of Americans. The "we" side, like the nation's governors, believe we all have a stake in the quality of life of the majority of Americans, for that quality of life shapes our children's future. The "me" side, like Libertarians and far right conservatives, believe a neighbor's failure or default should not reflect on "me", or cost "me", and when contemplating a less fortunate person, the "me" side says, "there but for being like me, go I."

The "me" side loves to tout how good looking, how frugal, how hard working, how wise, how educated, - how they are so much better as people than those who need to file bankruptcy, or those who can't afford insurance, or those who are victims of crime, or those who lose their jobs. The "we" - "me" debate is raging. And our future will be dramatically affected by who prevails at the end of this American debate.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on April 27, 2005 7:46 AM.

Good Idea, Bad Bill - Bankruptcy reform was the previous entry in this blog.

Bush's Big Gamble is the next entry in this blog.

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